The Jazz Genius: Thelonious Monk

A few weeks ago, my brother gave me a Thelonious Monk record for my birthday. Previous to this I had never really listened to jazz. The word ‘Monk’ to me meant a bald, religious man in a robe. Needless, to say I was a little disappointed to find my brother had given me an album of religious chanting. Way to go big bro! Anyway, I threw the record on in a moment of madness or desperation to find that I was pleasantly surprised. For those of you who don’t already know, Monk (or Thelonious Monk) is not a Monk in the religious sense nor does he chant. Rather he was (and still is) one of the greatest jazz pianists and composers in the world. He died in 1982, but he still remains a hugely influential figure in the music industry. Most famously,  Amy Winehouse was quoted saying that Monk changed the way she saw music. I wouldn’t go as far as that, but the smooth melodies of Theolonious Monk have recently become my soundtrack of choice. There’s something incredibly soothing, yet energising about his music.  It makes you want to do things, to get up and shake, to dance in the rain, to sing in the streets.

This is about a higher art form, man. A new level of musical maturity…

monk

thelonious-monk

I found one of Monk’s full album’s on youtube, give it a full listen – it doesn’t do it justice to chop it apart:

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